Steve Higgins letter painful, but speaks truth

Posted 9/8/19

To The Editor:I just wanted to thank you for publishing the letter from R. Steve Higgins, a former resident of Cleveland, Tennessee, regarding the state of our culture/society in current and past …

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Steve Higgins letter painful, but speaks truth

Posted

To The Editor:

I just wanted to thank you for publishing the letter from R. Steve Higgins, a former resident of Cleveland, Tennessee, regarding the state of our culture/society in current and past times.

For the most part, I believe the citizens of Cleveland, Bradley County and the Ocoee Region get along fairly well. But, that does not mean there are not issues of disparity based upon race, ethnicity, religion or lifestyle.

I'd chalk a lot of the "get along-ness" to people knowing when to mind their manners. But, there is a great degree of "inferential racism" and blatant racism stirring in the hearts of our "good Christian community." And it does "come out" when folks think no one is paying attention. But, as we all 'round here know and preach, "God knows the heart of a man [or] woman."

Regarding this topic, I have often thought about writing a letter to you for publication, but did not think it would be published. I'm glad you allowed this "what many might assume" is an off-the-wall opinion to be brought to light.

He [Higgins] made valid points. He spoke truth that is hurtful. If you are so inclined to open up this conversation, I would suggest — and like — to see more stories in your paper that would dispel his notions. I would like to see how this "good" community (and I do believe it is a good community) is addressing, combatting, collaborating and coming together to mend/blend and be a shining light (as most will know exactly what that references).

So many churches send mission teams to other countries ... in the name of Jesus. Well, in the name of Jesus ... are any doing anything at the border? Are hearts not broken over the devastating treatment of children and families? 

A well-meaning saint, for whom I have great affection and admiration, asked me recently what I thought of all these people "invading" our country. My quick response was, "Can you not see God bringing people who need our help to your very back door?" [These are] the same people that you want to minister to in their Third World countries.

Think of the money, energy [and] time that have been spent traveling to Honduras, Haiti and other countries. Yet, do we spend the same going "across town" to help our neighbor? Or do we dare take a "disaster relief" van to the border so folks can take a bath? Or, do we really want folks to stay in their place?

And the politics? In this obviously red and right-winged community, I only hope and pray that folks are calling their elected reps to demand a means to "do better" than this. But then again, God knows the heart.

We are not supposed to judge. Some get mad if you even inspect their fruit.

But, as for you Cleveland Daily Banner, again ... I thank you for offering a venue for what may indeed be a converse opinion of how things are, and a hope for something closer to what Jesus would actually do.

— Carole Hicks

Cleveland

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